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On the banks of the Angerman River in Adalen, northern Sweden, lies the former Box Power Station. Once used to supply electricity to the largest timber floating station in the world, the factory fell silent in the 1980s and lay derelict until it was bought in 1991 by artist, Mats De Vahl and converted into an art gallery.
Many years later, Mats visited Scotland with his brother Per. So inspired were they by the nation’s whisky, they decided to create their own distillery back home. After years of planning, their dream finally came to fruition when spirit ran from the Box stills in December of 2010.
The distillery is among the most northerly in the world. Standing on the 63rd latitude it is often bathed by night in the eerie glow of the Aurora. Winters here are long and brutal, so it is somewhat appropriate that ‘Dalvve’, meaning winter, was chosen as the name for their first core expression. Bottled at 46%, Dalvve is available in the UK for around £60. For those of an inquisitive nature, Box have taken the issue of transparency within the world of single malt whisky and elevated it to an entirely new level, with a complete guide to the creation of this single malt on their website, including information about barley varieties, water sources, fermentation times, spirit cuts and cask types. See here.
*In April of this year, it was announced that Box would rebrand in order to prevent any confusion with Compass Box, after the London-based blender raised some concerns with the Swedish distillers. Following legal consultation, it was decided that Box would be renamed ‘High Coast’, after the ‘Höga Kasten’ area of Sweden in which it is situated. The change is expected to come into play from 30th of June 2018.
Smell: Orange & Lemon, Biscuit and Honeycomb. Grass and faint Peat Smoke.
Taste: Orange, Honey, Sea Salt, Vanilla & Spice with a touch of subtle Smoke, delivered with a pleasant oiliness on the palate.
Thoughts: Comes in around £55 – £60. Perhaps a touch on the expensive side for a young whisky. That said, there is definite potential there.
A pleasant, if unremarkable, single malt that shows a lot of promise for the future. The Box (or High Coast) distillery could well be one to watch.